President  Trump is expected to declare a national emergency at a news conference Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern/12 p.m. Pacific amid criticism from some of the nation’s leading health experts and public fallout over testing for the novel coronavirus, four administration sources told ABC News.

The emergency declaration comes after mayors from Palm Springs to New York have taken drastic measures to control COVID-19, which presents with flu-like symptoms. In Palm Springs, public libraries are closed, meetings suspended and relocated, and more. LGBT Days in Cathedral City have been canceled. Broadway has gone dark. The NBA season has been suspended.

Riverside County has at least eight confirmed cases – six in Coachella Valley and two cruise ship passengers who have not returned to the region since being diagnosed. Dr. Cameron Kaiser urges seniors and those with underlying health issues in the Coachella Valley to limit non-essential travel. One of the Coachella Valley cases is considered “community spread,” meaning health investigators have not determined the source of the infection.

According to former DHS Acting Deputy Secretary John Cohen, declaring a national emergency does two things, it coveys to the public that the nation faces a serious crisis and that drastic action is necessary and it will immediately make available resources and other support that can be directed to protect communities across the nation.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday it is boosting the nation’s testing response to the coronavirus amid widespread criticism from public health experts and the general public alike, according to ABC News.



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